Softball teams from both Jacksonville High School and Rusk High School will find themselves in unfamiliar territory tonight, albeit for different reasons, when they lift the curtain on the post season with their respective bi-district games slated to get under way.
This will be the Fightin' Maidens' first playoff appearance in the 13-year history of the program.
Their opponent, the Ennis Lady Lions, know post-season play like the back of their hands as the Lady Lions are a perennial playoff participant.
The Lady Lions finished first in a tough District 15-4A.
Ennis, ranked No. 16 in this week's Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 4A poll, will bring a record of 24-4 into Game 1, which gets under way at 6 p.m.this evening at Fightin' Maiden Field — Game 2 will take place at 6 p.m. Friday in Ennis, and if a third contest is needed it will be played 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 2.
Jacksonville, the fourth place team out of District 16-4A, is 15-14 on the year.
“Our girls have worked hard this year to make the playoffs and our approach has been to win the inning,”Jacksonville head softball coach Amber Danner-Kirk said. “We know Ennis is a very good team, but if we continue to work hard as a team and focus on things one inning at a time, that's all I can ask of my players.”
The Maidens are a young team, with outfielder Erin McGarity and shortstop Nicole Robinson being the units' only seniors.
Jacksonville has relied on freshman Hannah Holcomb to handle the majority of the pitching chores this season.
Holcomb, the team's lead-off hitter is also one of Jacksonville's leading hitters.
Other key contributors at the plate have been Tasheena Canady, Taylor Whitaker, Jordane Mallard, Damonica Franklin and La' Dashia Canady.